frail·​ty | \ˈfrāl-tē \
plural frailties

Definition of frailty 

1 : the quality or state of being frail the frailty of her health the frailty and disability in the elderly

2 : a fault due to weakness especially of moral character Satire … often employs irony and sarcasm to denounce the frailties and faults of mankind.— Harry Shaw

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Choose the Right Synonym for frailty

fault, failing, frailty, foible, vice mean an imperfection or weakness of character. fault implies a failure, not necessarily culpable, to reach some standard of perfection in disposition, action, or habit. a writer of many virtues and few faults failing suggests a minor shortcoming in character. being late is a failing of mine frailty implies a general or chronic proneness to yield to temptation. human frailties foible applies to a harmless or endearing weakness or idiosyncrasy. an eccentric's charming foibles vice can be a general term for any imperfection or weakness, but it often suggests violation of a moral code or the giving of offense to the moral sensibilities of others. compulsive gambling was his vice

Examples of frailty in a Sentence

the frailty of her voice We can no longer be surprised by the frailties of our political leaders.

Recent Examples on the Web

Aymen Mathlouthi, who is beginning to show frailties at 33 and after 11 years in the team, can no longer be certain of his starting spot. Bouazza Ben Bouazza,, "World Cup Countdown: Tunisia return to the World Cup without key playmaker," 8 June 2018 The economic turbulence highlighted the frailty of Argentina’s economy despite austerity measures imposed by Macri, a conservative who has vowed to boost growth and curb Argentina’s high inflation. Washington Post, "Macri says Argentina’s currency crisis is over," 16 May 2018 Truly ancient mice — 24-to-27-month olds, comparable to 75-to-90-year-old people — given the senolytics lived 36 percent longer than their peers, again without the poor health and frailty that usually mark late life. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Hope for creaky old humans: removing aged cells from mice can restore their youth, study finds," 9 July 2018 While the Reds improved defensively in the second half of the 2017/18 season, the questions that have been asked about their defensive frailty in the past could tempt Jurgen Klopp to move for another defender such as Vida this summer., "Report Claims Liverpool Have Had Opening €18m Bid Rejected for Besiktas World Cup Star," 9 July 2018 Two works by Oscar Muñoz, mounted side-by-side, are short meditations on the frailty of images, memory and, by extension, life itself. Charles Desmarais, San Francisco Chronicle, "Must-see Bay Area photography exhibitions in March," 8 Mar. 2018 But the stockmarket crash of 2015 and the huge capital outflows in 2016 also persuaded President Xi Jinping that financial frailties were endangering national security and that the country needed a change in policy. The Economist, "China has made progress in tackling financial risks," 14 June 2018 The signing of Sokratis would represent an attempt to shore up Arsenal's notoriously leaky back line, the side's defensive frailties having been the subject of criticism for the past few seasons., "Arsenal on Verge of First Post-Wenger Signing With £17m Swoop for Dortmund Defender," 20 May 2018 But people with dementia decline over years and years, and frailty is part of that decline. Jeanne Erdmann,, "At 100, my mom had dementia and needed hospice care. Getting it was nearly impossible.," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frailty.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of frailty

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for frailty

Middle English frelete, freelte, borrowed from Anglo-French freleté, going back to Latin fragilitāt-, fragilitās, from fragilis "liable to break, weak, fragile" + -itāt-, -itās -ity

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Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

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The first known use of frailty was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of frailty

: physical weakness : the quality or state of being frail

: weakness of character that causes a person to do things that are morally wrong


frail·​ty | \ˈfrāl-tē \
plural frailties

Kids Definition of frailty

1 : the quality or state of being weak the old man's frailty

2 : a weakness of character human frailty

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More from Merriam-Webster on frailty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for frailty

Spanish Central: Translation of frailty

Nglish: Translation of frailty for Spanish Speakers

Comments on frailty

What made you want to look up frailty? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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